By now everyone knows that Konami has dropped Six Days in Fallujah like it was radioactive.
But One Last Continue has assembled a remarkable time line on the IP, indicating that the idea for the game was submitted for trademark less than four months after the battle ended. According to Austin Walker of OLC, Destineer – which later acquired Six Days developer Atomic Games – applied for the mark on February 4, 2005. There’s no mention of Konami until April 5, 2009 – more than four years later – when the company was announced as the pubilsher of Six Days.
What we find fascinating about these bits of info are their contrast to claims that veterans of the battle came to Atomic, essentially demanding that they create a game based on their Fallujah experiences. Such claims were used to some extent to buttress Six Days against charges that it was insensitive to Iraq War veterans and their families. Moreover, claiming that real combatants were behind the game would surely be a marketing plus as well.
For instance, in the very first article on the game – just before the controversy exploded – the Los Angeles Times reported:
The idea for the game… came from U.S. Marines who returned from the battle with video, photos and diaries of their experiences. Instead of dialing up Steven Spielberg to make a movie version of their stories, they turned to Atomic Games, a company in Raleigh, N.C., that makes combat simulation software for the military…
Today’s warriors are more likely to pick up a game controller than a paperback. "The soldiers wanted to tell their stories through a game because that’s what they grew up playing," said John Choon, senior brand manager for the game at Konami Digital Entertainment in El Segundo, the publisher of Six Days in Fallujah.
But if the game was already in the planning stage shortly after the battle concluded on December 23rd, 2004 who’s kidding who?